Navajo Nation, NCAI and Others React to Trump’s Pocahontas Crack

Posted By Toyacoyah Brown November 28th, 2017 Last Updated on: November 28th, 2017

I've seen both my Native and non-Native friends reacting to Donald Trump's Pocahontas comment in front of the Navajo codetalkers he was supposed to be honoring yesterday, and we're all in agreement here, there is never a time or place for this kind of disrespect and behavior. A lot of Native Americans have responded to Trump's remarks yesterday, including the Navajo Nation.

Official Statement from Navajo Nation below.


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, during an event at the White House honoring Native American Code Talkers, President Donald Trump made reference to Sen. Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.”

The remark prompted immediate backlash.

“First and foremost, we appreciate the honor and recognition that has been bestowed upon the Navajo Code Talkers, who truly are National Treasures and protectors of freedom,” Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said.

The reference to Sen. Warren as “Pocahontas” is a part of an ongoing feud between the senator and President Trump over statements Warren had made to have Native American heritage during her Senate campaign.

“In this day and age, all tribal nations still battle insensitive references to our people. The prejudice that Native American people face is an unfortunate historical legacy,” President Begaye said. “As Native Americans, we are proud people who have taken care of this land long before there was the United States of America and we will continue to fight for this Nation.”

President Begaye said the Navajo Nation does not want to engage in this dialogue between Sen. Warren and President Trump.

The purpose of the day’s event was to honor all Native American Code Talkers who used their native languages to encode sensitive messages and protect U.S. wartime communications in both World Wars I and II.

“It was our Code Talkers that ensured the freedom of the United States and that’s what is important to remember here,” President Begaye said.

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National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) President Jefferson Keel also issued a statement on the White House Ceremony.

WASHINGTON, D.C. | On November 27, 2017, the National Congress of American Indians President Jefferson Keel issued the following statement:

“We regret that the President’s use of the name Pocahontas as a slur to insult a political adversary is overshadowing the true purpose of today’s White House ceremony,” stated NCAI President Jefferson Keel, a decorated U.S. Army officer and Vietnam War combat veteran. “Today was about recognizing the remarkable courage and invaluable contributions of our Native code talkers. That’s who we honor today and everyday – the three code talkers present at the White House representing the 10 other elderly living code talkers who were unable to join them, and the hundreds of other code talkers from the Cherokee, Choctaw, Comanche, Lakota, Meskwaki, Mohawk, Navajo, Tlingit, and other tribes who served during World Wars I and II. We also honor the service and bravery of all of our veterans and those currently serving from Indian Country. Native people serve in the Armed Forces at a higher rate than any other group in the country, and have served in every war in this nation’s history.

“And we honor the contributions of Pocahontas, a hero to her people, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe in Virginia, who reached across uncertain boundaries and brought people together. Once again, we call upon the President to refrain from using her name in a way that denigrates her legacy.”

Please see NCAI’s statement issued on May 3, 2017 on President Trump’s use of the name Pocahontas here.

And here's a quick round-up of some other folks commenting on the event.

CNN Spoke with the found of American Indians in Film and Television, Sonny Skyhawk, as well as Navajo Nation President, Russell Begaye.

And Gyasi Ross commented on MSNBC yesterday:

Home » Blog » Navajo Nation, NCAI and Others React to Trump's Pocahontas Crack

About Toyacoyah Brown

Toyacoyah Brown is an enrolled member of the Comanche Nation, currently living in Chicago. She received her B.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and an M.A. in Media Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. When she's not scouring the Internet for fun things to share with PowWows.com readers you can find her digging for vinyl in her local record store or curling up with a good book.

TAGGED:    code talkers    Navajo    Trump  
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D Whitehorse -J

Thank you Dine Heros, and All other Code Talkers for saving our Nation! Thank you to my family N8V Vets!
Trump , open mouth,insert foot- inappropriate for sure, BUT he IS giving us a warning about someone that IS a Racist againt N8V’s for decades; WARREN WHO IS PROVEN NOT NATIVE AT ALL. She is as WHITE as TRUMP.
WAKE UP WHINERS! FIRE WARREN, she STARTED all of this , calling herself N8V and Pocahontus to begin with all these years KNOWING she could get MONEY and a POLITICAL CAREER FALSELY claiming N8V ancestry under the CLINTONS (UGG!!!)LONG BEFORE Bush, Obama and Trump. Where were you then ?
SHE IS THE WORST KIND of CROOK against ALL N8VS. STEALING Government MONEY and POLITICAL POWER and favors in the name of being N8V when she KNOWS she is not. That IS co-opting and ABUSING all we respect and admire of our culture everything mocking us while doing it AND still expecting people who THINK she’s N8v to vote for her. Its beyond insulting any N8v would defend her actions.
There is also the part left out in thearticle about the laughter shared among the Vetreans and the Prz, who’s actions were inappropriate but truthful still. There is no truth whatever in Warren. She lied and bought her way into politics on our backs.
GO AFTER, EXPOSE AND FIRE WARREN IMMEDIATELY !!!! SHE IS THE RACIST who has for decades mocked N8Vs for her own political and Financial gain! SHE IS A TOTAL FRAUD. at least the prez calls her out for it and exposes how she has done NOTHING for ANYONE except HERSELF.
As a story goes, smart N8vs KNOW that beating a coyote barking who exposes and alerts us to a conniving thieving dangerous fox in our hen house will not protect the chickens and eggs from the FOX who NEEDS TO BE REMOVED. We can train the coyote for other things but we can never use that fox!

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